Welcome Login

Supporting Race and Culture through our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy

We’re dedicated to reflecting and representing a diverse community, both through the work we do and the people we employ. We are a professional home for every engineer and technician, and we want everyone, whatever their background, to feel included.

We are a diverse professional engineering institution, with 167,000 members in 150 countries and we have much to be proud of, but we recognise we can always do more. We stand together with black communities against all forms of racism and we encourage our members, volunteers and colleagues to do the same. It is important that we research more into these issues, for example, movements and hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter. The responsibility should not always be on black people to educate others on the issues and challenges they face.

As well as supporting black communities, we are committed to supporting the wider Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, as they too can face discrimination. Our 2019 Skills and Demand in Industry survey found that only 12% of businesses were taking any action to increase the diversity of their engineering, IT and technical workforce in terms of ethnicity, while 42% agreed their organisation could do more to recruit people from diverse backgrounds. We pledge to continue to engage with our members, industry and all those who are affected by discrimination so that everyone at the IET can continue to learn in order to address this important issue of promoting diversity across our profession.

We recognise that the lived experience of individuals within the BAME community are different and therefore ways of addressing EDI in this space cannot take a ‘’one size fits all’ approach.

What have we been doing?

  • We’re striving to ensure all of our IET education programmes and STEM offerings, including our teaching resources, STEM campaigns,  Faraday Challenge Days and First Lego League, reach and engage with children from every background. We are delighted that the diversity of participants and winners across all our education programmes has improved in recent years, and we continue to work with our Education Partners across the STEM education landscape to improve their engagement of minority groups. All our IET education programmes are designed to drive transformational change as young people of all backgrounds discover, through the power of STEM education, how to widen and improve their career opportunities.

  • In 2019 we collaborated with RS Components to run REflect – an annual event aimed at engaging with young members of the BAME community and inspiring them to consider a career in engineering and technology. The event was vibrant and engaging with 300 young people packing out the venue. We received really positive feedback with many attendees saying the event was eye-opening and inspiring.

  • As a REflect event couldn’t take place this year because of the pandemic, we hosted a virtual webinar and created a National Day on 31 July. With a panel of expert speakers from across the sector, who shared their experiences and advice, we explored the next steps for equality, diversity and inclusion across the profession.

  • For the past two years we have operated a blind CV review process during the shortlisting phases of recruitment to posts at all levels of the IET – this is to reduce instances of unconscious bias among hiring managers. We’re committed to finding the right talent, regardless of an individual’s background.

  • We’re a proud member of the Association for Black and minority ethnic Engineers (AFBE) and have supported its Making Engineering Hot campaign, as well as working with the Association to increase award nominations from the BAME community.

  • We have set up an advisory panel to seek advice from – we have a huge amount of people from different cultures and backgrounds across our Council, Local Networks and Young Professionals to hear their views and take on their feedback.

What else do we plan to do?

  • We will be updating our EDI roadmap to look at the next two years, focusing on activities and strategic partnerships that will increase race and culture awareness and best practice.

We will continually review what we can do differently to support people from BAME and other diverse communities. We always welcome suggestions on how we can improve our equality, diversity and inclusion work.

If you would like to contribute to our efforts please contact Jo Foster, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager.